I’ve had to fight for pesarattu. I don’t know what it is with this family and pesarattu. They’re just not into it. The maamiyaar was never enthused about pesarattu turning it down whenever I suggested it. The one time I thought she might agree I was out of green gram. The pesarattu stayed on my mind for weeks together. One day when she told me she’d be out early and that I had to take care of breakfast, I knew what I was going to make. Pesarattu and ginger chutney. I love pesarattu. My mother makes wonderful pesarattu (but with the yellow moong dal), golden and crispy loaded with fried onions and fresh coriander. I wanted to try the popular Andhra version made with green moong dal.
It turned out quite well but it wasn’t crisp like my mother’s. It was tasty nonetheless. I loved the gingery cumin note of the pesarattu, enlivened further by the fresh coriander leaves and the cartloads of fried onions that I had added. I always prefer adding fried onions instead of raw onions to adai or pesarattu. The onions are not fried brown, they’re only fried to the translucent stage. The fried onions add a lovely sweet bite to the pesarattu. The fried onions are the crowning glory to any pesarattu. So be liberal with them onions.
The ginger chutney is another thing of beauty. I love Andhra meals specifically for their chutnies and podis. Beautiful stuff. This ginger chutney is a lovely combination of earthy, sweet, sour and spicy tones – ginger, jaggery, tamarind and chillies. The ginger chutney goes splendidly with pesarattu and I think it’ll do great alongside dosa or idli as well. Even the maamiyaar loved the chutney. She didn’t say so of course, but said non-challantly “the chutney is nice, so it has ginger and red chillies?” If somebody asks you for the recipe in however indirect a manner, it means just one thing – “It was good”. Since this chutney doesn’t contain coconut, it doesn’t make as much volume of chutney as your regular coconut based chutnies. Pesarattu and ginger chutney is one beautiful tiffin combination that I’d repeat willingly every time the maamiyaar is out of sight.
Starting today, the whole of this month, I’ll be posting one recipe a day from each of the Indian states along with my blogging marathon friends. I’ve been planning this for months together and my family has had to endure my crazy Thukpas, chewy sel rotis and the mithai deluge the past few months. You’ll see the highlights of this crazy food journey this month. We start with Andhra today which isn’t as crazy. This pesarattu and ginger chutney is my Andhra special for the state-wise blogging marathon.
Prep time: 20 mins
Cooking time: 3-4 minutes per pesarattu
Whole green gram/pachai paruppu – 1 cup
Raw rice/Pachai Arisi – ½ cup
Green chillies – 6
Ginger – 1-1/2 inch piece scraped and chopped
Cumin seeds/Jeera/Seeragam – 2-3 tsp
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves – 1 cup packed (chopped)
Fried onions – 1 cup (I used 3 medium onions chopped)
Oil – 2 tsp for the onions
Oil – 1 – 2 tsp for each pesarattu
Prep time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 7 minutes
Makes: ¾ cup
Ingredients – Ginger chutney
Ginger – 3 inch piece, scraped and chopped roughly
Tamarind – small marble sized piece
Whole dry red chillies – 7
Fenugreek seeds/Venthayam – ¼ tsp
Split Urad dal/Black gram – 2 tsp
Jaggery – 2 tbsp
Oil – 1 tsp
Oil – 1 tsp
Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
Curry leaves – 1 stem
1. For the pesarattu – rinse the whole green gram and rice in 2-3 changes of water till the water runs clear. Soak together overnight or for 6 hours.
2. Once soaked, drain the water and grind the green gram and rice to a coarse mixture in a mixie adding little or no water. Transfer to a large bowl.
3. Grind together green chillies, chopped ginger and cumin seeds to a smooth paste. Dump this spice paste on to the green gram batter. Add salt and mix well so that the flavours blend. Add water to make a thickish adai-batter consistency.
4. To a pan, add about 2 tsp oil. When hot throw in the chopped onions and fry till they turn translucent (not brown). Remove with a slotted spoon and drop the fried onions into the pesarattu batter. Add the chopped coriander leaves as well and mix well. The batter should be an easy dropping consistency, not a pouring consistency. Refrigerate the batter till the time you make your pesarattu.
5. To make the pesarattu, heat a tawa. When hot. Ladle some batter on to the tawa and spread out to make a disc as thick or thin as you wish (I like it thinner). Drizzle a tsp of oil all around the pesarattu and cook till the underside turns golden. Flip over, drizzle another teaspoon of oil all over and cook for another 2 minutes or so. Remove on to a plate. Serve hot with ginger chutney.
1. Scrape ginger and chop roughly.
2. Heat a small pan. When hot, add 1-2 tsp oil and when hot add the split urad dal. Then add the chopped ginger and whole dry green chillies. Fry till the ginger glistens. Add the fenugreek seeds and curry leaves and fry till the curry leaves are nearly crisp. Remove from fire and let cool for 10 minutes.
3. Grind together the fried ginger mixture along with tamarind, jaggery and salt to a fine paste.
4. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in the same pan and when hot add the mustard seeds and curry leaves. When the mustard seeds splutter, add the ground ginger chutney and heat for just under a minute. Switch off. Serve with pesarattu or dosai.